Sunday, 9 September 2018

Progressives, but no progress

As the U.S. mid-term elections approaches, Obama comes out of retirement to spew some more divisive progressive rhetoric. Still trying to save his failed legacy he accuses Trump of endangering democracy and takes credit for a booming economy. As the Democrats move further to the left, Obama ignores that hope and change never came when he was President, but that real progress is now underway.

Let us look at the facts under Obama. For eight years the GDP was 2% and he said that was the new normal. Those certain jobs would never come back. The unemployment rate did not go down; there were more people on food stamps than at any time in U.S history. More importantly the hope that he touted for never happened for the African American worker. Wage rates were static. These are some of the facts about the economy under Obama.

His appeasement policies created a real problem in the Middle East. Syria and Iran are now aligned with Russia. Chemical weapons were used frequently and his red line was crossed many times without any response. Furthermore his Iran Nuclear deal was accompanied by billions of dollars delivered in cash aboard a cargo plane: money now being used by Iran to support terrorism around the world. The real Russian collusion was between Obama and Putin when he was heard to say to President Medvedev to inform Putin : “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility”.

As for divisiveness, Obama created a culture that is now common among progressives. If you disagreed with him, you were a racist, if you were for borders and legal immigration, you were xenophobic, and if you were against Jihadists, you were Islamophobic. Today Democrats and the so-called resistance use epithets to describe anything that conservatives believe in. This culture of divisiveness now permeates campuses everywhere. Free speech is being stifled for the sake of political correctness. Obama divided the country, and perhaps the world along dangerous lines never seen before since the Nazi era in Germany. Entitlement and the lack of respect for existing laws is now normal. Under Obama, we have seen the rise of racist organizations like Black Lives Matter, and the Antifa movement and of course the idea of ‘white privilege’.

Now let us contrast Obama’s record to Trump’s: The second quarter GDP was 4.2 percent, unemployment 3.9 percent lowest in 50 years. Unemployment among African American at an all-time low of 6.6 percent, was 4.8 percent for Hispanics, 3.6 percent for whites, and 2.7 percent for Asian-Americans. The numbers of regulations which have been stifling the economy for years have been cut. Despite the hiccups of the North Korean summit, there has been no missile or nuclear test since the meeting. Despite the possibility of a trade war, Trump is trying to abolish as many tariffs with other trading nations. Now, his tactics may be unorthodox, his language may be bombastic and sometimes downright arrogant, but we must remember that he is not a politician in the old mold, and more importantly he is doing exactly what he promised during his electoral campaign.

I do not like the term ‘fake news’, but I will definitely label the media as biased. The media continuously publishes reports which are always negative about Trump’s administration. Everyday there is a barrage of attacks or reports of chaos in the White House. Books are being written to discredit him, claiming that he is unstable and perhaps mentally incapacitated.  His use of Twitter has a lot to do with the way that the press views him; his combative nature often fuels the debate. Despite all this, it is uncommon to see him get any credit for anything. On the other hand, the media is now praising the ‘third-coming’ of Obama. The so-called ‘resistance’ has not yet been able to digest the fact that Trump was elected as an antidote to the Obama presidency, which would have continued under Clinton.
Even worse, as a Canadian I am frustrated to see and read the news, which every day starts with a criticism of Trump’s policies. They very often ignore the dismal performance of the vacuous and incompetent Prime Minister Trudeau. The Canadian economy is stagnant in comparison to our neighbor; NAFTA negotiations are at a standstill due to the inability of the government to see the difference between economics and social issues. The Canadian government, instead of coming with new ideas, is counting on their progressive friends in Congress to do their bidding to stop Trump’s negotiating tactics.
Those who lament Trump’s election would like to bring back their entitlement polices , bigger government, more regulations, and appeasement, while stifling free speech, which apparently is now  the divine right of the left. The so-called ‘deep state’ will do anything to disrupt the Trump’s presidency.

Yes. The midterm elections are important, for U.S and the world. Should the Democrats win the House of Representatives, it will be chaos for the next two years. Impeachment of the President will take centre stage, foreign affairs will take a back stage, and the economic gains may be stalled. Trump’s opponents are wishing for a return of the Democrats, ignoring that today’s Democrats are no longer progressives but are now real socialists verging on the communists. This is how far left they have become.

Those who wish for a return to Obama’s past Presidency should remember that there is no progress under Progressives.

Monday, 3 September 2018

The new Davis Cup

As I watched 2018 US Open I cannot be more pleased with the rise of young Canadian players Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Denis Shapovalov. Despite the retirement of Daniel Nestor from competition, Canada has other players in the wings that can eventually, and very soon, be real contenders to win the Davis Cup. Milos Raonic, is still a pillar of  team Canada, and Vasek Pospisil the doubles Wimbledon Champion is our go to doubles player. However , as a former Tennis Canada Board of Director in my view there is a cloud over the World Cup of Tennis.

The  Davis Cup will see major changes to the competition. Beginning in 2019, 24 nations will compete in a home-or-away qualifying round in February, with the 12 winners advancing to the final tournament. Joining the qualified teams will be the four semifinalists from the previous year, plus two wild-card teams, who need to be in either the top 50 of the Davis Cup rankings or have a top-10 singles player to be eligible.

As a long time tennis enthusiast and administrator, I find that these changes will be detrimental to the development of the game. There is no doubt that the playing season has become too long and put the top players at greater risk of injuries. However changing the format of the Davis Cup, but adding two new events like the Laver Cup and the NextGen event goes contrary to the argument of too long a season.

The format that has been used for 117 years gave smaller nations the opportunity to stage an event with the best players of the world involved.. It provided the opportunity for tennis fans to watch their national players at home in a small venue, Who can forget the final rubber in Edmonton when Andrew Sznajder took the newly crowned French Open Champion, Andres Gomez of Ecuador, to fifth set? How about the inspiring defeat of world number one Stephan Edberg, by a young Daniel Nestor in Vancouver? These performances are etched in our memory and helped to create a new generation of players. Under the new format, it is unlikely that Canadians in towns like Halifax, Vancouver or Calgary, will be able to see a Davis Cup tie between Raonic/Shapovalov against Federer/Wawrinka on Canadian soil surrounded by a sea of Maple Leaf Flags.

The new format will cause two things to happen. Smaller nations with no large facilities will never stage the Davis Cup. The event will be staged only by countries with large facilities and be a money grab like the Olympics.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Russian roulette.

There is no doubt in my mind that  Russians interfered with the U.S 2016 elections, but had no effect on the ultimate results, In fact all powerful countries have interfered in other nations elections in one way or another. So why are we focused on collusion rather than democratic interference?

The whole idea of collusion comes from the Democrats who still cannot believe that the ‘shoe-in’ presumptive President Clinton lost the election to a political neophyte. From the first morning after Trump’s election the drum beat about collusion was started. Ever since then we have seen the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the Russian interference. Despite the fact that people have been indicted, there still has been no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Instead what we have seen is a slew of incriminating evidence of bias within the FBI and the so-called ‘deep state’ against Trump.

On July 16, 2018 Trump met with Putin in a summit which is being demonized in many quarters. The Democrats called for the summit to be cancelled because, among other things, it was disclosed by the DOJ that 12 Russians, members of the Russian Intelligence Agency GRU were being indicted for interference in the 2016 elections. These operatives will never see a day in jail. The timing of the DOJ’s statement came just before the summit. Was it another deliberate attempt to sabotage Trump’s meeting?
There is also the continued debate about Trump’s reluctance to openly condemn Putin for the interference while dissing his Western allies. The irony is that while he does not condemn the Russian government, he is actually imposing enormous sanctions on some 700 Russians businessmen and companies. His bluster and language does not reflect his actions, in fact he has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor. As a result this brings me to my thoughts on the Russia/U.S relationship.
It is said that one should keep one’s friends close and one’s enemies closer. I believe that is exactly what Trump is doing in his relationship with North Korea and Russia. Trump was elected in November 2016, but the previous administration was aware of Russian interference and did nothing to stop it. Furthermore, those who criticize the Trump approach to Putin should remember how Obama dealt with the Russians. One there was the stupid ‘reset button’ presented to Russia by Secretary of State Clinton. Two there was the famous off-mic recording of the conversation between President Medvedev and Obama that went like this:
“President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”10

Oddly, Obama on a trip to South Africa gives a speech, a veiled criticism of Trump, and opines about the rise of ‘strongman politics’. In a recent study it was found that lemurs of Malagasy can smell fear. It is not only animals that have these characteristics. Obama’s appeasement policies open the door for autocratic leaders like Putin and Assad to take advantage of the situation with disastrous consequences. The fact is Obama forgets that what is happening is a backlash against his ‘lead from behind policies’.

It is easy to say that Trump missed an opportunity to publicly confront Putin, but we do not know what happened behind closed doors. In fact Trump’s election campaign was one that wanted to negotiate and make deals. Presumably that meant dealing on trade, foreign policies and nuclear proliferation. What is wrong with trying to prevent WWIII? Unfortunately his adversaries would like him to fail because his predecessors failed miserably in those areas. Too often in their attacks, they forget that in the last decade Russia has increased its influence in Syria, Iran, and has attacked Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Where was the outcry about Obama’s appeasement approach to foreign affairs?

I support Trump’s approach to negotiation. Diplomacy, as defined by current adversaries, got us nowhere His attack on so-called allies is a breath of fresh air. His demands for NATO members to pay their fair share and his attack on free trade are long overdue. For too long progressive governments in Europe and Canada have taken advantage of the U.S military might to divert their share of defence budget to social programs, and thus have contributed to the rise of socialism in these countries. The immigration open border policies are causing undue financial burden on many economies, and yet politicians do not see compassion in refugees and illegal immigrants but rather as a source for votes.

Commenting on foreign affairs, always leads me to comment on Canada’s somewhat hypocritical reporting by our media. The issue of Russian interference in U.S elections gets ample coverage, as it affects Trump. However, very little is said about interference in Canada’s elections. Why? Because presumably, the interference by Soros, Tides Foundation etc. tends to, favor the election of Liberals.

If and when the enquiries and assault on the legitimacy of Trump’s election disappear, it will be interesting to see what state the world would be in. The continuous attack on this President is doing nothing to elevate the stature of Democrats. In fact it is destroying the ability of the President to lead. By the same token if Americans and socialist progressives around the world, continuously bombarded by a bias media, would take some time to really get the facts, they would see that Trump is getting things done in a manner that no one would have expected before his election,

Although Trump admitted that he ‘misspoke’ at the Helsinki press conference, I may be proven wrong, but as a strong supporter of ‘chaotic diplomacy I believe that Trump will not condemn Putin, or abate his attacks on the establishment until all allegations of collusion are removed. Even then I do not believe he should stop his attacks on globalism. Too often in the past conservatives around the world have allowed the left to dictate the shape of things to come. It is about time that the U.S. under Trump re-establishes its leadership just like Reagan did. The game of Russian roulette being played by the left will backfire and thank goodness it will be the progressives that will lose.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Immigration: The Crisis of our Times

From the migration of our ancestors from the African continent to today’s migration from third world countries, humanity as always sought greener pastures. With the election of President Trump, the world is now aware that we cannot have uncontrolled open borders.

There are many benefits as well as complications with migration. People move for different reasons: economic, security, well-being and increasingly refuge from poverty and terrorism. Over the years what was seen as compassion from developed countries has also been used for economic gains. However today, immigration is being used as a political football by progressives to alter the political landscape.

The United States has long been seen as the ultimate destination for immigrants, from both developed and third world countries. The economic juggernaut and creator of wealth is a magnet for people seeking to improve their well-being. The American Dream has always been the goal for a vast majority. The current problem is the result of years of Congressional inaction caused by the flagrant abuse of cheap labor from mainly Mexico. In recent past the number of illegal immigrants from Central American countries -Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other Latin countries has increased geometrically. The majority of illegals cross the border into Mexico and travel without control to the U.S border. Reports estimate that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S may well be between 11 to 24 million.
President Trump promised to change and control the U.S borders but the Democrats and some Republicans in Congress have been extremely reluctant to change the laws for political reasons. The Democrats have always believed that ignoring current immigration laws benefit their voting base, while Republicans do not believe in amnesty for the so-called DACA immigrants. In this divisive debate about U.S immigration too often the truth does not come out. Trump is blamed for the same policies created by Obama and other previous administrations. The latest outrage about children being separated from their parents is the direct result of a Court order which originated from an Obama immigration law, which prevents children from being separated from their parents for more than 20 days. This judgement resulted in what is known as ‘catch and release’. To date Congress is still unwilling to pass revised laws that will improve the current status of immigration in the U.S.

On the other side of the world Europe has been the chosen destination for many from the African continent and the rest of the world. Chancellor Merkel of Germany created a serious problem by admitting millions of illegals. Given the rules of free movement in the EU, other countries have seen an increase in illegal immigrants. Furthermore, war in the Middle East and poverty in the sub-Sahara countries have acerbated the situation. Europe has been invaded by hordes of immigrants seeking asylum and many countries are now questioning the wisdom of progressive policies that have allowed this crisis. Italy, Hungary and Malta have recently refused to take more illegal immigrants. I also believe that Brexit is a direct result of the EU’s policy on migration.

Immigration in Canada is driven by the need for economic growth and nation-building. The future of the country depends on a well-constructed immigration policy, but for years through the tinkering of successive governments we have seen, to the detriment of the principles of nation-building, a progressive deterioration in regulations, statutes and administration of the country’s immigration programs. Under the current government of Justin Trudeau, the situation has worsened, as he adopted an open border policy. Today we see thousands coming across our unmanned borders. The problem is that provinces are seeing enormous costs in harbouring these illegal immigrants.

Each country has different immigration laws, some more liberal than others. However there seems to be a trend to support an open border policy. The United Nations has created a problem in Central and Southern America by supporting progressive ideas and governments who believe that capitalism is a bad concept. They have created a situation where governments in these countries are no longer really in control, but instead the population is now controlled by socialist dictators, gang leaders, drug lords and cartels. Under those circumstances we can see an increase in refugee claimants from these countries.

As for the uninformed Canadian who chooses to protest, it is the result of the Canadian media taking its lead from the progressive media around the world, with little regard for fact checking. It seems that the Canadian TV media cannot do any investigations of their own, as they routinely take their cue from NBC, CNN, ABC, all liberal U.S media. The Canadian point of view ignores how the thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country are being treated. The media rarely focusses on city tents, military camps or the use of sport stadiums to house illegal immigrants. For sanctimonious Canadians who continuously attack Trump’s immigration policies, we should start looking at our own backyard. We are no better, and definitely we do not enforce our existing laws for the sake of votes, political correctness and a seat at the corrupt United Nations.
The narrative in the liberal mass media continues to drive the debate with accusations of xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia. In reports of recent protests around many cities in the world and the U.S, ignored is the facts that many, if not all, the laws applied by Trump were not only supported but created by his three predecessors – Clinton, Bush and Obama. It has become a trend to use pictures of drowning kids and kids in cages to ramp up the rhetoric. In the accusations of Trump placing kids separated from their parents in cages, the media used pictures from the 2014 Obama era. A distortion of the facts by the media and Hollywood delusional actors further exacerbates the crisis. In addition, the reports very often omit the fact that most illegal immigrants are prey to human traffickers, drug cartels and terrorist groups.

There is no doubt that the immigration crisis is a problem of our own making, because the progressive, globalist left has chosen to ignore that if you do not have borders you do not have a nation. Compassion is a trait that separates humans from animals. However using compassion as an excuse to redraw national boundaries and advance a political agenda is perhaps one of the vilest actions employed by politicians aided and abetted by a less than credible mass media.

Sunday, 10 June 2018


The meeting of the world’s economic engine, commonly known as the G7, took place in Canada on June 09, 2018. Justin Trudeau the Canadian PM wanted this meeting to be a crowning of his career, but as it turned out it may have been a colossal disaster.

Trudeau a vacuous political neophyte never understood that the world changed with Trump’s election as President of the United States. A rise in populism is causing a serious rift in political circles and it seems that globalism is gladly seeing its twilight. In view of serious trade issues including NAFTA and Trump’s view that trade with the rest of the world is not fair; Trudeau inserted social issues on his agenda. Noble as it may be, gender and apple-pie social issues could not take precedent over lingering economic and security issues.

The G7 meetings of the past, never really produced much, but instead proclaimed to resolve issues but ultimately were just another waste of taxpayers’ money to get leaders of the world together for a photo-op. The problem this time was that Trump having withdrawn from international agreements like TTP and the Paris Climate Agreement had already sent a message that he wanted to renegotiate many issues that he believes affect his country’s economy and sovereignty. With a forthcoming summit with the leader of the rogue nation of North Korea, Trump did not put much effort into the Quebec meeting. So Trudeau and Macron decided that the meeting would be to pressure Trump on tariffs and social issues. The result was a resounding failure because Trump treated the meeting with contempt and not only was late at meetings but also left early. So the media labelled the meeting as G6+1.

The G6 made up of France, Canada, the U.K, Japan, Germany and Italy, have sometime been acting and behaving as offended U.S allies The mistake is that they believed that they could bully the leader of the most powerful country in the world. While in the past these meetings were about closed door discussions and agreements, which incidentally, did not come to any good results, this time Trump put all his cards on the table in public.

Trump has been very clear about trade and international multilateral agreements. He does not like them. In many ways his views on trade are very true. The U.S the largest economy in the world does have trade deficits with most other industrialized countries, and he wants to change that trend. The only way for him to get attention from the other G6 members was to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium. He used ‘security’ as the excuse to impose these tariffs because it was the only legal way for him to do it and by-pass Congress on trade issues. It is hypocritical  for any member of the G6 to complain about tariffs , when every single one of them have huge tariffs on imports in one way or another, Todays’ real free trade problems come from the fact that many countries protect some of their industries jealously by means of tariffs, and government subsidies.

As for NAFTA, there is no doubt that Canada, Mexico and the U.S have all benefitted from the original agreement. However as time went by, it seems that it may be time to renegotiate some of the original portions of the agreement. For Canada who accuses Trump of punishing his ally, Trudeau very conveniently ignores the fact that Canada imposes tariffs equivalent to over 200% on dairy and poultry products from the U.S thus hurting Canadian consumers. By the same token we must also acknowledge that the lumber issue has been adjudicated in favor of Canada several times, despite the fact that the Canadian government subsidises the industry. The Auto Pact has benefited Canada, and uses cheap steel and aluminum bought from China. Cheap labor in Mexico has also affected the U.S auto industry. In light of these facts it is clear that Trump wants to reverse some, if not all, the trade imbalance that exists between the U.S and the rest of the world.

The media is very quick to accuse Trump of playing the ‘Imperial’ card to negotiate, but ignore that the progressive ideas of the past decade are becoming tiresome and endangering the world economy. Under Obama the G7 was a lovefest of progressivism, which as we saw did nothing for world trade, the economy or world security. The Iran deal was put together by some G7 members, China and Russia. The result was to allow Iran to restart its nuclear program in 15 years and also get access to $T delivered in cash by cargo planes; the same money being used today to destabilize the Middle East. When Trump called for the abolition of the Iran agreement all the European allies disagreed, not for security reasons but in truth for economic reasons. The claim to be ‘Allies’ when it comes to trade tariffs is a bit disingenuous when they do not support him on serious security issues.

The Europeans do not like the fact that Trump calls for better contributions to NATO or cites them for their approach in the fight against terrorism. European and Canadian immigration policies have created havoc in their respective countries and yet they accuse Trump of being racist for promoting legal immigration. No wonder that Trump, rightly or wrongly, promotes to bring back Russia to the table for future G7 + Russia meetings. In fact I would go so far as adding China and calling it the G9. The real powers today are the U.S, Russia and China.  Russia was rightly excluded because of the Crimea and East Ukraine invasion. But it is time for the world to recognize that either these meetings are totally useless and mere photo-ops, or they must decide that to achieve serious and meaningful results the real powerful countries should be at the table. I believe that Trump understands this theory.

The Quebec G7 meeting was a fiasco; let us not sugar coat it. Trudeau and his progressive friends bungled it. They thought that ganging up on Trump would be advantageous, but they forgot that Trump is not the usual U.S President. He is after all a business man who has honed his negotiating skills through actual deal making not political pandering. He also knows that under his leadership the U.S economy is booming with a GDP of $20.4T compared to a $19.2T for the other six members combined. By Trump refusing to sign the final meeting’s communique further proves that the Canadian PM misjudged his place in world politics. He is a light weight with vacuous, globalist progressive ideas that do not serve Canada well on the international scene, except at the feckless United Nations. One does not have to give one’s shirt to achieve successful negotiations. The other members of the G6 better start understanding that Trump is a different President who is prepared to go it alone when necessary. Unfortunately this does not bode well when the U.S is still the policeman of the world and the engine of the world’s economy. Cooperation with your true ally is better that poking him in the eye.